“Sometimes…I wonder what inanimate object I would like to be, if I could be any inanimate object in the world…I’d love to be a tabletop in Paris, where food is art and life combined in one, where people gather and talk for hours. I want lovers to meet over me. I’d want to be covered in drops of canle wax and breadcrumbs and rings from the bottom of wineglasses. I would never be lonely, and I would always serve a good purpose” (Johnson, The Last Little Blue Envelope).
That, my friends, is genius.
Have you ever wondered what inanimate object you would be? I guess I’d never really thought about it before now, but being a tabletop in Paris sounds like a truly marvelous idea, doesn’t it? So poetic, romantic, sensible…well, as sensible as being an inanimate object can be, I suppose.
What if you were a sidewalk in an amusement park? Ick! Those things are gross. No, they’re beyond gross. They’re breeding grounds for Death himself.
How about being a bar in a German or Irish pub? I hope you like the smell of cigarettes and beer, cause that may be all you ever get. That would still be cool, though. You could hear business men have official meetings over you, let them put important documents on you. You could listen to their accents, their problems, their proposed solutions. You would be completely caught up with the world.
I think it would be amazing to be an airplane. Think about it. You would finally get to fly without being in a plane…you would be a plane instead. That’s so weird and crazy and fun-sounding. You could pass the birds, watch them freak out as your wing tips almost skewered them, and laugh and the clouds tickled your tail. People from all over the world would use you. You would be a staple of safe traveling–hopefully.
You could be a house. A warm, cozy house in the fall and winter, and a cool house in the summer. You could watch as children grew up around and in you, watch and the parents made decisions–both bad and good–and watch as the family made friends, grew up, moved out. You could be home to a new family; perhaps a rambunctious family of six, with all boys. The boys would give you ‘character’, tromping down the stairs, adding that squeaky bottom step. They would camp out in the closets and make the basement into the Outback, where they would rangle kangaroos and fight invaders. They would find a path to the roof, knock a few shingles off, and prove that Santa was real. That would be a great house to move into after the boys went off to college. There would be a tent, left standing in the closet, full of adventurer artifacts. There would be a complex map drawn in sharpie on the floor of the basement, detailing where the invader’s camp was, and where supplies would be air-lifted to aid the rebel cause.
What a wonderful life that would be.
So what would you be? A house? A Parisian tabletop? Maybe a kite? A bureau? A set of handmade bookshelves? Perhaps a scarecrow?
I can’t decide what I would rather be. Maybe I’ll just be everything.